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Play Volleyball: Top 4 Ways You Can Control the Pace of Your Volleyball Game
Have you ever played in a volleyball game where the pace seemed so fast that everything just seemed to be BEYOND your control? Many times you play in a volleyball game that seems to control you when in reality there are several things that you can do to change or control the game so that YOU can control the rhythm of the match.
Here are a few suggestions:
Play the Volleyball Low
Give yourself time to play the volleyball perfectly especially on a free ball or down ball by playing the ball in a low but balanced position. Don't stand up to pass the ball by taking the ball up high when it's at your shoulder level. Use the few more inches it takes for the volleyball to descend to get yourself in a good low position to deliver a perfect ball to the target.
Those few seconds you allow for the ball to descend to a lower point before you pass it not only gives you time to gain more control of the pass but it also buys time for your hitters to get back in transition. This move will also allow you to control the speed of your next play and thus affecting the tempo of the volleyball match... here's how.
Speed Up or Slow Down Your Pass
When you practice playing volleyball you dedicate hours of practice of serve receive in the gym which should get you to automatically pass the ball with a medium arc about 4 to six feet above the height of the volleyball net right to the setters hands. You can control the speed of your team's attack by raising your pass/serve receive so that the ball has a much higher arc, reaches 8 to 10 feet in the air so you are slowing down the pace of the game. You would probably do this when the opposing team is running a faster offense and it feels like your team is spinning its wheels unable to establish its own team rhythm. Slow everything down, give the setters time to think, the hitters time to see the volleyball court and your teammates time to think about concentrating on the basics in order to get back into the game.
Or you can increase the pace of the game by purposefully passing a ball that is right at or 1 to two feet above the height of the volleyball net with some pace on it. You should practice this with your team attack and transition drill practices...on free balls purposefully speeding up your free ball or even down ball passes ...without losing precision and control in order to run a faster paced attack. You can make this a set play that can be called by the setter when she sees an easy high free or down ball coming over...she calls this play so the receivers know that she will be in position to set and the middle blockers will be ready to speed up their approach for this fast attack play.
Walk Back To Serve
This suggestion may seem a little crafty but when you play volleyball after a long rally you may consider walking back to or taking your time getting back to the server's position. Whenever you run back to serve you are speeding up the play of the volleyball game. Sometimes it may be necessary to give your front row hitters a breather or give your middles a chance to catch their breath so without risking a yellow card or any delay of game warnings you can always "tie your shoe" just before or as you are heading back to serve. The referee will have to wait for you to finish.
Non-Setters Should Set High
If you were to play in a perfect volleyball game the setter would touch every second ball but since when does that happen? If you are the right side hitter or an off side hitter you'll find that you will have to step in to set several times during a volleyball match.
In order to maintain control of the pace of the game make sure you get your knees, hips, shoulders and forehead lined up underneath the ball to get into a low position to set a nice high ball to either outside hitter.
Don't risk increasing the pace of the game by shooting a fast set to the outside which neither you nor the hitter you are setting have practiced. Establish your own team's rhythm and maintain control by setting high to the outside and letting your hitter do the rest.
Now go out and practice your individual skills...Remember the ball is in Your hands!
About the Author:
April Chapple is a former USA National Team member and Volleyball Professional who created the first virtual volleyball mentoring community with volleyball skills,coaching and information sites including www.top5volleyball.com